Microsoft to Offer OpenDocument Support

Microsoft is backing down on its anti-OpenDocument stance, and is now developing a translator that will convert Word files in the ODF format. As a part of the move, the company started the Open XML Translator project on the SourceForge Web site, according to CNET News. Unfortunately, the translator is currently being developed only for the Windows version of Word.

The move should meet the document interoperability requirements that many government organizations are starting to require.

OpenDocument, or ODF, is an open and standardized file format for office-type applications. It is based on the XML file format used by

The translator works with Microsoftis Open Office XML file format, which is cross platform. It will also be backwards compatible with older versions of Word, at least on the Windows platform.

Microsoft plans to have translator plug-ins available for PowerPoint and Excel some time in 2007. There is no word yet on when to expect Mac versions of the translators.